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10/18/23: What’s New, Berlin?

A new home for photography in Berlin; celebrating architecture's most sought-after photographer; and a revered French interior designer opens his own furniture gallery in Paris.

October 18, 2023 By THE GRAND TOURIST
A 2009 photo of House H in Tokyo by Sou Fujimoto Architects. Photo: Iwan Baan

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“Kissing in a bar, New York, 1977.” Photo: Mary Ellen Mark, Courtesy of The Mary Ellen Mark Foundation and Howard Greenberg

Was Geht, Berlin?
In Berlin, the past and present coexist. The site of the former Kunsthaus Tacheles, an artist colony located in the happening Mitte district, is now inhabited by a new Fotografiska museum. “We want to look ahead to the future while embracing the past. And to do so in a casual way. That is very Berlin,” says the museum’s designer Werner Aisslinger. With late hours (open until 11pm daily) and a rooftop bar, the museum hopes to be a hub of culture, and probably plenty of first dates. For a second dose of photography, C/O Berlin presents the first major retrospective of the U.S. photojournalist Mary Ellen Mark. Titled “Encounters,” (until Jan. 18) it showcases her humanistic touch as she photographed the ordinary lives, hopes, and difficulties of the “unfamous”—as she describes those on societies’ margins—against the backdrop of larger social themes. Last but not least, these playfully chic studio apartments by the aparthotel brand, Locke, have opened on Berlin’s River Spree, with the audiophile bar and restaurant, Anima, downstairs. A socially enriching hi-fi audio and gastronomy experience? How Berlin. —Vasilisa Ioukhnovets

NB: And don’t forget our favorite showroom in the city, by designer Gisbert Pöppler. Housed in a former East German bookstore (still largely intact), his colorful and forward-thinking pieces are a must-see. —Dan Rubinstein

Baku, Azerbaijan (2011). Photo: Iwan Baan, courtesy Vitra Design Museum

Meet Architecture’s Most Sought-After Photographer
Speaking of photography, if you know anything about architecture, then one name will come up again and again. And for many, many cutting edge architects, there’s only one name they trust to capture official photos after laboring on a project for years: Iwan Baan. Due to his close working relationships with nearly every top architect—Rem Koolhaas, Sou Fujimoto, to name a few—he gets the shots others dream of, pairing unparalleled access with incredible angles taken by helicopter, or simply captures everyday moments of construction workers and the public interacting with architecture. His first museum retrospective, “Iwan Baan: Moments in Architecture,” at the Vitra Design Museum in Germany, just a short drive from Basel, Switzerland, will open tomorrow until early March, and will be accompanied by a 600-page book on his oeuvre.

The special edition Asymmetry chair by Pierre Yovanovitch in collaboration with artist Claire Tabouret. Photo: Alessio Boni

The French Teacher
Please don’t tell our English friends, but thus far we’re living in a decade of French design triumphant. Riding a wave of enthusiasm for collecting names like Prouvé, Perriand, and Frank, a new generation of interior designers have conquered the global scene with a look that combines midcentury simplicity with luxurious fabrics, muted tones, natural materials, and a couture-like mindset. The headmaster of this School of Chic would be none other than the professor himself: 58-year-old Pierre Yovanovitch (have you seen those ball-shaped pillows everywhere? You have him to thank for that). Marking his 20th year of crafting bespoke furniture, making it a separate venture a few years ago, he’s just opened a new storefront gallery in Paris’s Marais district. To celebrate the occasion, he’s exhibiting a collaboration with artist Claire Tabouret with a nod to the 10th anniversary of his now-familiar Asymmetry chair, where Tabouret’s painterly looking textile creations, resembling kites, are attached to Yovanovitch’s shapely design.

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